US Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the US House of Representatives, on Sunday said that he would form a select committee on China if he is elected speaker of the chamber, accusing the administration of US President Joe Biden of not standing up to Beijing.
“China is the No. 1 country when it comes to intellectual property theft,” he told Fox News in an interview.
“We will put a stop to this and no longer allow the administration to sit back and let China do what they are doing to America,” he added.
McCarthy also said he would keep his promise to oust a number of Democrats from key House committees, including US Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
He said he would also remove US Representative Eric Swalwell from the intelligence committee and US Representative Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCarthy is vying to become speaker after his party won a narrow House majority in the midterm elections this month, although he would need to secure enough votes to be formally elected when the new US Congress takes office in January.
A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that McCarthy prevailed in Republican House leadership elections on Tuesday last week, overcoming a challenge from hardline conservative US Representative Andy Biggs in a 188-31 vote by the caucus.
McCarthy also told Fox News that his party would “stop these police stations in America,” after FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers on Thursday that the US was concerned about the Chinese government setting up unauthorized stations in US cities.
Europe-based human rights organization Safeguard Defenders published a report in September revealing the presence of dozens of Chinese police “service stations” in major global cities including New York.
The report said the stations were part of Beijing’s efforts to pressure Chinese nationals to return to China to face criminal charges as well as spread the Chinese Communist Party’s influence and propaganda overseas.
China’s embassy in Washington acknowledged the existence of volunteer-run sites in the US, but said they were not “police stations.”
The sites “assist Chinese nationals who need help in accessing the online service platform to get their driving licenses renewed and receive physical checkups for that purpose,” an embassy official told Reuters.
In Taipei yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that no official contact had yet been made with McCarthy regarding a visit to Taiwan.
McCarthy had previously pledged to visit Taiwan if he became House speaker.
However, Wu told lawmakers that he believes McCarthy’s busy schedule precludes a trip to Taiwan any time soon.
McCarthy had previously said he would have liked to join US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s delegation when she visited Taiwan in August.
Asked if McCarthy would expedite US arms sales to Taiwan, Wu said it was too early to tell.
Additional reporting by CNA
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